Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Next Christmas performance disappoints

Next failed to cash in on its full-price approach over Christmas, blaming warm weather, poor stock availability and tough online competition for a “disappointing” 0.4% increase in sales.

Next autumn 15

The performance update from the British high street chain compares with 2015 company guidance for second-half growth of 3.5%-7.5% and third-quarter growth of 6%.

However, Next, which remained full price in the 60 days from October 26 to December 24, said gross margins were maintained and stock for the end of season Sale is 7% lower than last year.

The business, which has more than 500 shops in Britain and Ireland, is one of the first retailers to report on its festive performance.

Despite sluggish sales, Next added that good control of margins, costs and stock, along with healthy clearance rates means it still expects full-year profits of £817m, towards the lower end of the £810m-£845m forecast issued in October. It is due to report its preliminary full-year results on March 24.

James McGregor, a partner at consultancy firm Retail Remedy, said the numbers underplay the performance.

“Next consistently deliver, remain unflustered and stay true to its core customer,” he said. “Playing down Black Friday and not being drawn into the frenzy despite the lure of footfall, helped Next deliver another quarter of solid trading.

“Although Next’s results are not as strong as we have previously witnessed, they are well ahead of the curve, and noteably ahead of what we expect Marks & Spencer to announce later this week.

“Marks & Spencer must wish it had a fraction of the general merchandise growth Next are delivering.”

Marks & Spencer will report on Christmas trading on Thursday. City analysts predict a drop in like-for-like clothing sales.

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • These figures are actually rather good in the overall scheme of things. Next know their customer and that cannot be said for some others players out there.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.